SOURCE: Rotary Club of San Jose: Digital Bridges

July 05, 2005 19:28 ET

Building Digital Bridges

SAN JOSE, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- July 5, 2005 -- Many famous cities are defined by their icons. Often, these landmarks are major bridges. The Golden Gate Bridge, for example, marks the entrance to San Francisco. In Silicon Valley, over the past few years, another bridge of gold has been built quietly by service-minded members of the Digital Bridges Committee of the Rotary Club of San Jose.

"Digital Bridges" began as the brain-child of former Rotary District Governor David Heagerty, Rotarian Bruce McClelland, a local school principal, and a number of others. The group seeks to make a difference in the lives of graduating high school seniors and elementary school students who might not have access to personal computers and Apples. Select students from Washington Elementary School and Downtown College Preparatory have historically been scholarship recipients.

Peter Verbica, this year's Committee's Chair, presented over 30 computer-related scholarships on behalf of Digital Bridges at Downtown College Preparatory's Senior Awards Ceremony. Washington Elementary School's student computer facility also stands to benefit from donated funds this year. Mr. Verbica credits the generosity of former 49er great Eric Wright, architect Ernie Yamane, businessman Greg Yoder, community leaders Lon Saavedra, Richard Friberg, Rick Randolph, Rotary President Kay Walker, Rotary Executive Director John Kennett, attorney Colleen Duffy Smith, the firm of Coakley Heagerty, Bocce champion Bob Rauh, Ann Burgess and others for achieving new fundraising records. In addition, Downtown College Prep's Executive Director Jennifer Andaluz, and Washington School's Principal Carlos Acosta each earned well-deserved kudos for helping to co-host the festive Digital Bridges' Spring Bocce Ball Tournament in Los Gatos.

Rotary International is a worldwide service organization initially founded by business owners and managers interested in improving their communities. Projects include eliminating the last vectors of polio, providing wheelchairs for the disabled in Third World countries, improving potable water supplies, correcting facial deformities of ostracized young children in impoverished villages, heart surgery at O'Connor Hospital for those who normally would not have access to advanced medical treatment and other worthy causes.

Digital Bridges is a community service committee of the Rotary Club of San Jose, and is dedicated to helping provide access to personal computer and Apple software and hardware for underprivileged youth in the Silicon Valley. If you are interested in making a contribution to Digital Bridges, please go to http://www.sjrotary.org/DigitalBridges.htm or www.rotarydbc.com.

"Downtown College Preparatory (DCP)," according to its website, "is the first charter high school in Silicon Valley, and the only school that explicitly prepares underachieving students for college success. DCP targets low-achieving urban minority students who will be the first in their family to go to college." To learn more about DCP's success: www.downtowncollegeprep.org.

Washington Elementary School provides its diverse student body access to a wide variety of educational computer software programs. Its 700 students are challenged by a well-trained faculty which sets high goals regarding literacy and mathematics. For more information, please go to http://www.sjusd.k12.ca.us/sites/elem/Washington/.

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